A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In old African custom, what were women forbidden to handle?

2. Bessie feels that the main function of a writer is to communicate what?

3. Josef Herman, the artist who lived through the Nazi invasion of Poland, fled to what country?

4. In "African religions," why did Bessie say that most of Asia was blanked out as barbaric in her school's geography book?

5. How many major tribes are there in Botswana?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Bessie consider Botswana the "most unique and distinguished country in Africa"?

2. In "African Religions," what, does Bessie state is the main difference between Asian and African religious ideals?

3. In "A Note on Rain Clouds," what does Bessie state is thwarting young, idealistic, black men and their ideals?

4. In the conclusion of Chapter 2, how does Bessie summarize her life experiences?

5. In "God and The Underdog," what does Bessie feel fuels revolutions?

6. In "African Religions," what does Bessie state is at the root of religion in Africa?

7. When Bessie arrived in Botswana in 1964, what were the major differences that she noticed between that country and South Africa?

8. In "Notes on Novels," why is Bessie having difficulty writing about her years in South Africa?

9. Why does Bessie think of the American woman as some sort of goddess?

10. How does Bessie describe the world that a black South African is born into?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Bessie developed an early love for Capetown and returned there frequently. What did her friends tell her about Capetown in 1958? Why does she love it so much? What sense does she get there? Why do the whites of the Cape describe it as having a liberal tradition? What does Bessie think of their assessment? Why does she say they pride themselves on this? What kind of personality do the Cape Coloureds have that she admires? What compromise have they made with the ruling group? What impressions do you get from Bessie regarding this compromise?

Essay Topic 2

The artist, Gladys Mgudlandlu, was extremely popular in South Africa because of her escapism theory. Why does Bessie refer to her as "the exuberant innocent"? Does she think of her and her escapism theory as naïve? Does she see it as not wanting to deal with real issues? Do you think Bessie thought it was wrong of her to encourage the black South Africans to just "sit back and let God deal with it"? Was this just offering them a good excuse to do nothing about their situation? If there was no oppression, do you think that this artist would have been as popular?

Essay Topic 3

The Natives Land Act of 1913 deeply affected the lives of the South African blacks. What was the purpose of the Act? What did the shortage of labor at the mines have to do with the passing of the Act? What were the consequences for whites, who allowed the blacks access to water or grazing land? What, do you think, was the main effect on the psyche of the one million black people affected by the passing of this Act?

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